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“Robinson & Rohe are musician’s musicians. They create a perfect duo – listening, waiting, complimenting each other and adding just what needs to be added to a song at just the right moment.” -Mike Pengra, Minnesota Public Radio
Ask Robinson & Rohe how the duo was formed and they’ll look at each other as if to say, Which beginning should we begin with? The two have known each other for over a decade, developing a friendship as they pursued their separate careers—spanning everything from playing Brazilian jazz gigs to composing orchestral scores.
Over those years, the two grew into powerhouse performers–Liam Robinson working as musical director in Anaïs Mitchell’s acclaimed Off-Broadway folk opera “Hadestown” and as keyboard/accordionist in the Becca Stevens Band, as well as a cast member in the Tony Award-winning play “Warhorse”. Meanwhile, Jean Rohe toured with her band, Jean Rohe & The End of the World Show, honing a honeyed, far-ranging voice and collecting accolades along the way (“a sure-footed young singer-songwriter,” says the New York Times.) In spite of these divergent paths, the two were each other’s closest collaborators over the years: Jean’s alternative “National Anthem: Arise! Arise!” has now been performed by artists nationwide, but is best known in its original recorded version with a brass ensemble written by Liam Robinson.
A few years ago, the two deepened this collaboration and began exchanging lyrics and music—Robinson taking a fragment of writing from Rohe and delivering it back to her married to a melody. The process was the start of what would become their debut record, “Hunger,” an album full of songs about love and land—often both at the same time. Written largely during a period of travels between the East Coast and the Upper Midwest, the record poses questions about the traditions we might carry on, and where to find hope in a country freighted with an inheritance that is both beautiful and troubling.